This cake reminds me of lemon and blueberry muffins from when I was a kid. Soft, gooey blueberries in moist and warm cake that leaves a lemony aftertaste… Drool.
- 1/3 cup of room temperature butter (or heat briefly in the microwave for about 30 sec)
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp of lemon zest (I used about 2 lemons)
- It’s easiest to zest the lemons and then juice them. Hanging onto a whole lemon while grating its rind is easier than a slippery peel.
- 1/4 cup of lemon juice (about 1 lemon), remove the seeds
- 1.5 cups of flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 package of fresh blueberries, washed and tossed in 2 tbsp of flour
- Tossing the blueberries in flour keeps them from sinking to the bottom of the pan
- 1/2 cup of milk
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Butter or grease the bread pan. I used a 10.5″ x 4.5″ x 3″ pan.
- Beat the eggs, butter, sugar, and lemon juice in a mixing bowl. Try not to overbeat the eggs.
- Separately mix the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt.
- Alternately combine the dry mix and milk in the butter-egg mixture. Stir to combine.
- Fold the lemon zest and blueberries into the batter.
- Pour into the bread pan.
- Bake for 60 minutes. Check for done-ness by inserting a toothpick or wooden kabob skewer or (if you grew up in an Asian house) wooden chopstick in the middle of the bread. It should come out clean, without any clumps.
- Cool for 10 minutes in the pan.
- Slide a knife around the edges of the pan (careful not to scratch the bottom of the pan) to loosen the bread.
- Invert the pan to remove the bread.
- Set on a wire rack to cool for another 10-20 minutes. Enjoy!
I used this recipe to start, and added a couple of my own ideas to it.
- 1 cup of whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg and 1 egg yolk
- 3 cups of powdered sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 stick of unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup of milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 packages of raspberries (I will use 4-5 packages next time so that the top will be covered with raspberries.)
- Grease a 10.5″ x 4.5″ x 3″ pan.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together.
- Separately, mix the vanilla and milk together.
- In a third container, beat the butter and sugar for about 3 minutes with an electric mixer.
- Add the egg, mix, then add the egg yolk.
- Alternately mix the flour and liquids in parts until you get a smooth batter.
- Pour and spread the batter in the cake pan. Bake for 45 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake should come out clean.
- Cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
- Invert to remove the cake. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes more.
- Cut the cake lengthwise in half.
- Whisk the powdered sugar and cocoa powder together.
- Separately beat the butter with an electric mixer until smooth.
- Slowly (and in parts!) add the sugar/cocoa powder to the butter and mix well. Alternate adding the dry mix with the liquid vanilla/milk mix. Beat until you get a smooth frosting.
Putting the Cake Together
- Spread about 1 cup of the frosting between the layers of the cake.
- Cover the rest of the cake with the frosting.
- Outline the bottom of the cake with raspberries, and fill in the cake from the bottom to the top.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Over the last few months, I’ve discovered (and become addicted to) Kind bars. My favorite flavor is the Almond & Apricot bar. Eating it is a magical experience. This is a homemade recipe I’ve hobbled together, which doesn’t taste anything like the Kind bar, but is still darn-tootin’ delicious. I might try switching out the dried fruits with other varieties later on, but this seems like a good place to start.
This recipe will make about 10-12 bars.
- 1 cup of honey
- 1/2 cup of maple syrup
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp of salt
- 1/4 cup of juice (I have tried mango lemonade from Trader Joe’s and also apple juice. Both are tasty.)
- 1/4 or 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon (depends on how much cinnamon you like)
- 1 cup of almonds (roughly chopped)
- 1 cup of pecans (roughly chopped)
- 1 cup of coconut flakes
- 1 cup of your favorite puffed cereal (I like chocolate rice puffs)
- 1/3 cup of dried blueberries
- 1 cup of craisins
- 1/3 cup of chocolate chips
- Heat the syrup, honey, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, and juice together in a pan on the stove. Stir frequently and heat evenly until the mixture is about 260 F.
- In a long glass pan (I used a 9 x 13 in casserole dish), combine the remaining dry ingredients.
- Once the stove-top mixture is hot enough, pour it over the dry ingredients in your glass pan. Mix well.
- Try to press the sticky, nutty mix flat, perhaps with a spatula.
- Let it sit for about 20 minutes, and then cut them into bars.
- Wrap the bars in something like wax paper to store in the refrigerator. This batch never makes it past a week on my watch… I just eat them too fast.
Making homemade cookies is the best! I love cinnamon, so I added some to my usual chocolate chip recipe. This recipe makes about 20 cookies.
- 1.5 cups of flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 2 cups of semisweet (or bittersweet) chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup of melted unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 large mixing bowl
- cup measures
- electric beater
- cookie sheet
- cooling rack for the cookies
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- Hand stir the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar in a bowl. Then let sit for 5 minutes, until the sugar is absorbed by the butter. This produces flatter cookies that have a shiny top and are crispy at the edges.
- Add the eggs, vanilla extract, and cinnamon to the bowl. Beat.
- Don’t worry if you overbeat the eggs. Your cookies will still turn out fine! You only worry about overbeating them when you’re making something like meringue or angel food cake.
- Separately mix the flour, salt, and baking soda in a bowl.
- Add the flour mix at 1/2 a cup at a time, beating as you go.
- Fold in the chocolate chips
- Scoop the cookie dough onto the cookie sheet 1 tbsp at a time.
- Bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes.
- Allow the cookies to cool for ~5 minutes before you transfer them to the cooling rack.
Found a great recipe for some yummy, atypical pudding. Who doesn’t like pudding? And cardamom? Mango goes nicely with it, but I think any type of fruit will suffice.
Note: Prepare through Step 7 up to 1 day ahead; cover and chill.
- 6 cardamom pods
- 4 1/4 cups of whole milk
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- mango (or other fruit; I tried blackberries since they’re in season)
- mint leaves for garnish
- Gently crack cardamom pods with a mortar and pestle.
- On a stove top, combine with 4 cups of milk (notice that is not all of your milk), and stir occasionally until mixture boils.
- Separately mix half of the sugar (1/4 cup), all of the cornstarch, and all of the ground cardamom. Stir in remaining 1/4 cup milk.
- After the mixture on the stove boils, slowly whisk the sugar/cornstarch/cardamom/milk mixture into the pan.
- Bring the contents of the pan back to a boil.
- Pour all of the stuff through a mesh strainer. Trash the stuff left in the strainer.
- Ladle pudding into small containers (6 – 8 bowls/cups of 3/4 – 1 cup capacity). Let cool for 10 mins, then chill until the pudding is cold and has set (1.5 hrs)
- In a food processor or blender, combine the mango or other fruit with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. You want it sort of chunky and coarse, so don’t puree.
- Spoon fruit/sugar onto pudding right before serving. Garnish with mint.